Evergreen viburnums for Bay Area

There are many beautiful species of Viburnum, but my focus here are the evergreen varieties. Why? Our front, back yards and gardens need some all season evergreen bones, structure. In winter especially when a lot of fruit trees and other deciduous trees and shrubs are bare. Evergreen viburnums are excellent choice for foundation, hedge and screen or as group of few in the bed.

Viburnum tinus
Viburnum tinus

Let’s start with Viburnum tinus.This medium size (4×6) dense compact shrub grows in variety of soils, does well in full sun as in part shade and shade.  All of that makes it a very versatile shrub.  It blooms in late winter and early spring. I have it planted in the front yard as foundation shrub. It is a full sun location and the soil is clay with gravel (we had to use a hack to dig the hole when planting). I like its natural growing habit and prune only the top a little to fit under the window sills. It’s beginning of February now and it’s started to bloom-wonderful fragrant clusters of small white flowers.

Let’s move to Viburnum davidii a small (3×3) shrub with domed growing habit. It likes moist, acidic, well drained soil. In our area it will do better in shade. This viburnum is perfect solution for difficult areas like northern exposure and full shade. It has broad oval shaped dark green glossy leathery leaves with tree distinct veins going lengthwise, blooms in spring with clusters of tiny white flowers.  If female and male specimens are grown close to each other the female shrubs will produce small metallic blue fruits that look visually interesting.

Next is semi-evergreen burkwood viburnum (Viburnum x burkwoodii). It is a large shrub, grows to 6-12 feet high and 4-5 wide, upright habit, part shade to full sun, as for soil – moist, acidic and well drained. It blooms also in spring and has very fragrant flowers that look like white snow balls.

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